Starboard Airplane 2016 (A new revolution in windsurfing)


Side note (My windsurfing background)

As a teenager growing up addicted to windsurfing I know the challenge of getting to the beach with your board and rig. Begging my parents every weekend to take me to the nearest beach. Then making them wait hours while I rigged up and went sailing. It’s a sport which is equally a logistical challenge as a technical challenge but I still love it!!!!

Drone shot of the Airplane 225

I am lucky now to work along side the largest windsurfing brand in the world. Starboard. I concentrate more on the SUP side but I am still as keen as ever to rig up some windsurfing gear. Starboards reputation for Innovation and Quality in windsurfing is something they do very well. 2016 is probably the biggest year for innovation because of one product which has pushed the limits of inflatable technology to the limit.

Going into a lay down gybe

The product is the Airplane. The first fully planning inflatable windsurfer. A board which you can put into a backpack, pumped up and blast around like a free ride board. After using the Airplane 225 in Costa Brava in September 2015 at the Starboard world dealer conference I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. I had only used the board for 15mins but the board behaved extremely sluggish and slow responsive but it did get me thinking. It got me windsurfing!!!

Fully powered up on the Airplane 225

Fast forward to January 2016 and I am in Auckland, New Zealand working with NZ Boardstore and a Airplane 225 shows up on a container fresh from Thailand. Lucky enough it was a demo board. So, once the first windy day hit. I decided to pump the Airplane up and rig a 7.8 overdrive. Firstly I knew I would be fully powered or even overpowered. I wanted to try it fully powered up something I didn’t get in Costa Brava. The board felt completely different then before more responsive and remarkably stiff. After my 2 hr session I kept having to remind myself of the board I was using was an inflatable. The same technology that only years previous was so under – developed most people overlooked.

Key points on how the board performed.

  1. The board sails like a large free ride board. It’s a unique feeling when you are fully blasting along. Pushing into a inflatable rail.
  2. Gybing the board actually lets you really feel the rail edge technology come into effect. (It’s a hard bit of mellable plastic which goes around the bottom tail of the board. Creating a hard edge.)
  3. The board has good constant speed. It sails through gust and lulls with good control and keeps on the plane. The board does need to be sailed slightly overpowered. I found between 1 – 1.5 m sail size bigger then normal made the board fully blast along.

It’s only the beginening of this technology and innovation cycle. It’s version 1.0. As with any technology it will develop and get a lot better. It is still a remarkably good board. Unlike it’s inflatable wind sup cousins this board is a legitimate modern windsurfing board.


Thanks to Georgia Schofield and Dominic Stuart.

Georgia Schofield Photography


Instagram :

Thanks to NZ Boardstore for the use of the board.

Demo the Airplane at any good Starboard Windsurfing retailer or distributor.

More info @ Starboard


Starboard AIRPLANE 255 from Georgia Schofield on Vimeo.


The Basque country

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Last week I traveled to the Basque Country for the 4th stop of the Stand Up World Series in the beautiful city of Bilbao. The Ria de Bilbao was the battle ground for the worlds top racers in a highly organized and well produced event.


After the spectacular opening ceremony in the Iberdrola Tower on Friday night it was back to serious racing on Saturday with a race start set for around 4 o clock. The event site had proper facilities for the racers and with friendly staff the atmosphere was set for a good race on the interesting extended 18 km course. It involved everything from upwind, downwind, side chop and buoy turns. The start line was just infront of the Guggenheim museum and with the worlds top racers I knew it was most important to get out infront quickly. I did exactly that I got out with the lead pack and stuck with them for the first kilometer before they chopped and changed the draft. I fell back into the second draft shortly after being dropped. My good friend Aaron Rowe was well tucked into the draft train as I took second in line of a huge train which Sonni leaded up to the far mark upwind. I knew I could catch the lead group downwind as I rounded the top mark and sprinted for every little runner I could. I broke away from the draft and started to close the distance on the lead group but ran our of chop before I could half the distance. My fuel tank was pretty much empty at this stage of the race rounding the second last marker about 2 km from the finish. I could see the big draft train had broken up and Aaron was tucked in behind local Ander. Aaron sprinted on his pink board right on to my tail around 500 m from the finish. The last mark beaconed and Aaron with another burst of energy got in front of me just before the mark. A quick mark rounding for me and we were clashing paddles all the way down to the finish. He beat me by 10 sec in a 2 hour race to secure 14th place and me in 15th.


Sprints day on Sunday was fun filled for sure and I got into the last 16 of the consolation finial. I fell on the second last mark to get a 15th place overall of the event. Congrats to Aaron for beating me on his pink board and bring on Hamburg.

998655_463609783734132_855562330_n                                   Connor and Zane after winning the sprints in first and second postion and taking first and second overall in the event.



My sponsor Surfdock recently opened a new business venture Wakedock. This is the first permanent cable wakeboarding park in Ireland and is probably the coolest toy I have ever used. When I first heard about the system I didn’t really get it. I thought it was a modified ski lift at first but then I looked up some videos and discovered its versatility of use. Check out this video.

SYSTEM 2.0 is FUN from Andrew Adams on Vimeo.

I am a complete newbie to the sport of wakeboarding and found out that Ireland has a solid crew of guys ripping it. During the whole install phase I was helping out around the dock and every person who tried the cable was super stoked grinning after their session. From a 8 year old girl to a 64 year old windsurfer everyone succeeded to ride the cable. Lets hope the weather warms up a bit in the next few weeks for the real fun to happen. Check out the website and facebook page at Wakedock.

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Starboard team rider weekend


Last weekend was a epic adventure with long waits in airports due to a canceled flight and getting to surf in England with the Starboard UK gang. After waiting in airports for a good few hours and a 35min flight. I finally arrived in the Tushingham/Starboard warehouse in the Devon hills filled with the latest kit. Saturday was the meeting part where all the team discussed the many achievements of the past year and went through this years kit in detail. We moved to a pub for further meeting type stuff and the tiki oscars. Lots of awards were handed out and I picked up ‘Rookie Of The Year’. Some funny stories and major achievements were awarded highly.


Sunday was the fun day when all the new kit was brought down to the beach at Bigbury On Sea for a surf session. A good range of kit in all the constructions was on test. I tried plenty of boards everything from a 8,0 to a 14ft ace which was 23,5 wide. The Starboard UK guys were ripping it on pretty much everything and a good local crew of suppers were on show as well. After a day full of surfing it was back home to Ireland. I can’t wait to bo back for some races and comps in the next few months. Check out Starboard UK on Facebook and Starboard to check out all the new boards and paddles.

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Blog update


Sorry for not updating the blog in a while I have turned lazy with technology recently. The conditions have been mixed recently with everything from sunny perfect days windsurfing to cold windy flat water paddles. Best of all I have been on the water lots Suping and windsurfing

8,10 Wide Point

I got to go to Furteventura in January for some vitamin D and a few waves. It was my first time to the island and I didn’t expect much as most people described it as a big dusty rock in the middle of the Atlantic. They were right it was a big volcanic rock but it has some of the nicest variety of natural reefs, islands and beaches. We went sup surfing everyday on the north shore of the island and downwinding in the evenings as the sun went down from Isla Lobos to Corralejo. Myself and fellow Surfdock team rider Keith Gorman got to do a training session with Eric Terrien. Eric wins most races in Europe and is ranked some where in the top ten in the world. Check out this write up of the training session on the Surfdock page Training with Eric Terrien.

Eric and myselfDSC_0046

After the sun and warm waves it was back to Irish waters with our tan lines. The cold felt even colder after the sun but it didn’t stop me from having fun with good swells and wind every weekend. A few trips to the west of Ireland and plenty of east coast action it has been a good start to the year filled with highs and lows. Lets hope it stays that way.

After finishing one of the best paddles I have done on Ireland waters. Sun, wind and a huge westerly swell.
After finishing one of the best paddles I have done on Ireland waters. Sun, wind and a huge westerly swell.

Winter downwinding in Dublin Bay


If you have been in Europe recently you would have noticed the wintery weather with cold temperatures, snow and for us living in Ireland lots of easterly wind. This makes Dublin Bay a perfect location for downwind paddling. Downwinding is almost a separate sport in the whole of stand up paddle boarding scene and was made popular by the Hawaiians paddling from Island to Island using the trade winds which produce long ocean swells or as paddelers like to call them ‘bumps and runners’ . Similar to Hawaii the cold easterly wind travels over the Irish sea and brings this long ocean swell into Dublin Bay.

IMG_0610Keeping a low centre of gravity on the bump to increase my stability

Downwinding has one fatal consequence its all about paddling from one location to another down wind so you need to work out the logistics of getting around dropping off cars at the  finish location and then trying to get a lift to the start location. I am fortunate enough to have my Dad the dedicated driver and photographer who drives around while we have the fun of our lives gliding across the ocean.

IMG_0387Surfdock team rider Lewis Eickholt and Myself stacking the boards high

IMG_0585 Paddling upwind is not the funnest thing to do but when you start going downwind its all worth it

The combination of wind, swell and tide make every bump different and learning to read them is always a challenge. Ireland as a location for this is perfect with a unlimited supply of wind and costal waters.

IMG_4997Connor Baxter taking a air drop with all of his weigh back to keep that nose out of the water. Maui to Molokai race 2012

The forecast for the next few days looks like the prevailing southerly wind is returning and back to the standard mild winter that we have come to love. I have been looking at the charts for the west coast and it looks like another huge swell to come this weekend and lots of wind with it.

Rest In Peace Mikey


My fellow Surfdock team rider Mikey Clancy passed away yesterday. One of the most talented Irish windsurfers in decades he recently finished 13th in a PWA wave event and was charging waves only a few days ago in Donegal. Just after Christmas Mikey did a backloop in front of me at Dollymount it looked as effortless as ever as he landed it perfectly. I tried one on the same ramp just seconds after and was so close in landing it. My dad had captured that moment in photo when I looked back at that session today. Thats how I want to remember Mikey as a person who inspired me and many others to always stay with your passion. Over the past few months he gave me advice on sponsors and was stoked for me that day on Dollymount. Mikey rest in peace

The photo of Mikey showing me how its done.


Here is Mikey charging in Dongeal earlier this year.

Magheroarty from Mikey Clancy on Vimeo.



Here is a quick update of the latest news,photos and videos.

Starboard launched the new sup website this week. Check it out at Lots of new and updated shapes in a number of constructions. The new 2013 inflatable boards are the biggest addition to the range with a good selection of lengths from a 8,2 wide point to a 16 ft tandem. These inflatable boards are a good option if storage and transportion is a big issue when deciding to buy a new board.

Lets hop over to Ho’okipa beach park on Maui for the finial event of the KSP world tour. The conditions havent been the best for the gang but finished off with a finial result and two new World Champions Australian Ripper Keahi De Aboitiz and Naish team rider Jalou Langeree.

Now to the British Virgin Island for the finial event of the stand up world tour. The top 16 plus two wildcards are on a couple of moorings Yachts for the comp which is giving them a lot of options to surf. The race for the world title between Kai Lenny and Sean Poynter is going to go down to the wire with both guys in form and ripping. Stay tuned into

Now to the biggest news story of the year. The new World surfing champion Joel Parkinson secured his first World title at the pipeline masters beating Kelly Slater. This is Parkos first world title and went on to win the contest. Kelly lost in his Semi Finial heat to Australian Josh Kerr to give Parko the title. Congrats Parko

This week I am going to leave you guys with a new windsurfing movie Trailer DONT LET GO.

DON’T LET GO -Trailer from DONT LET GO on Vimeo.

Feature Post the latest news,photos and videos


Welcome to my second feature post of

Lets start off with some action from the stand up world tour event happening in Brazil. Ubatuba Pro is the second last event of the standup world tour with Kai Lenny,Sean Poynter already knocked out in the semis. This leaves the top two positions of the world rankings open for change. The local Brazilian Leco Salazar and young Hawaiian Mo Freitas were the stand out competitors both in form and pushing radical moves with 15 year old Mo from the north shore of Oahu winning the event.

Lets check in with the Vans triple crown they are half way through the vans world cup of surfing at Sunset beach with some perfect waves being ridden during round 2. The title race is still being debated in the surfing world. We will find out on the 8th when the Billabong pipe masters in memory of Andy Irons kicks off at the banzai pipeline.

#GoParko from Billabong on Vimeo.

Now some action from the mountains.

Into The Mind – Official Teaser from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Last up a video from one of my favorite video makers They create original videos and content. It is well worth looking through some of it for a bit of inspiration.

I have a busy fortnight up ahead with a quick trip to sligo before heading off to Paris for the sup nautic and then a surf trip to northern france. I will keep you posted with daily reports. Plus my facebook athlete account will be up and running soon.

First feature post of the latest news and videos


This post is the first of a weekly feature post I will put up of all the latest news and videos from around the world. Hope you guys enjoy it….

Lets start with the biggest news on the water with records being broken every day in Luderitz, Namibia. The speed event is a one of a kind with a purpose built course in the middle of the dessert with consistent strong winds its a recipe for succes. Antoine Albeau has set the bar at 52 knots on Monday after smashing his old record a number of times the days previous. There is also national records being set every day with a half dozen nations taking part in the month long event. Keep up to date at

Off to Oahu Hawaii now for some action at the first event of the Vans Triple Crown. The Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa on the North Shore was up first with very little swell during the entire waiting period. Not a lot of surfing happened but plenty of action neither the less with Kauai’s Sebastien Zietz winning the event. The next event is the Vans World cup of surfing at Sunset Beach it should be a good warm up for the last event which the entire surfing community has been waiting for the Billabong Pipeline Pro with three guys in reach of the world title. Kelly is once again in prime postion to take his 12th World Title in 2012. He has to place 5th or higher against Mick fanning and Joel Parkinson to win the title. Keep a eye on


Now hoping over to Maui Hawaii to check in with Zane Schweitzer on his new 7,4 Starboard pro. I am waiting for my 8,5 pro wave to come and cant wait to get on these new 2013 boards. The big difference from last year is that all the pro wave models have lost volume and became thinner for more radical progressive stand up surfing.


This week I am going to leave you guys with a song which should heat you up nicely for the cold week ahead.